Spanakopita Pasta With Greens & Feta
This baked pasta is inspired by spanakopita, the classic Greek spinach and feta pie. This loose interpretation combines pasta with gooey mozzarella, briny feta, plenty of greens, which is then piled into a dish and baked (briefly) until golden.
The key to this dish is in the greens: Use at least three kinds — a mellow one, a peppery one and a fresh herb or two — to create an exciting mix of flavors. No need to sauté them; just salt and massage them until they wilt slightly. Great for vegetarians, to bring to your next gathering (it's still great room temp), and anyone looking to get more greens into their meals.
Adapted from NY Times Cooking. Serves 4. Prep time ~40 minutes.
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 4 cups chopped spinach, Swiss chard or other mild greens (tough stems removed)
- 4 cups chopped arugula, watercress or other peppery greens
- 1 cup chopped fresh dill or parsley leaves and tender stems, or a combination
- 6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, whites and dark green parts separated
- 1 pound tubular or curvy pasta, like rigatoni or fusilli
- 2 Tbsp Olio Santo, House Blend, or Garlic EVOO
- 1.5 Tbsp Ferry Building Blend
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced (optional, great if you like garlic)
- 8oz ricotta or soft farmer's cheese (1 cup)
- 4oz mozzarella, grated (1 cup)
- 4oz crumbled feta (1 cup)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
In a 3-quart/9-by-13-inch baking dish, toss the chopped spinach, arugula, herbs and scallion greens with 2 teaspoons salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Squeeze the mixture with your hands to wilt, then set aside.
Cook the pasta in the boiling water until 2 minutes shy of al dente; reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain pasta and set aside. Return the pot to the stove.
Over medium heat, add the olive oil and cook the scallion whites, garlic and a pinch of salt, and sauté until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the ricotta and pasta water and stir until smooth. Stir in the wilted greens, half the mozzarella and half the feta until combined. Stir in the pasta until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Transfer the pasta to the baking dish, then top with remaining mozzarella and feta. Bake until the sauce has thickened and bubbly and the top has browned in spots, 10 to 15 minutes. If you like a crisper top, broil for a few minutes.